“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Contemplating God’s presence is an overwhelming experience, even traumatic in some cases. God’s revelation should represent a 180° turn in the life of every believer.
The vision that the prophet Isaiah had was a traumatic event. So much so, that it made an indelible impression on his memory and was a determining factor in his ministry.
While we have an experience of awe (and even well-being), immediately the Holy Spirit reveals to us our SINFUL CHARACTER. In the face of such an incredible gift as the salvation of our souls, we are considered unworthy to enjoy it.
God is holy, but He is also a God of grace. God takes immediate steps to purify the human being and restore his soul. In the specific case of Isaiah, he experienced a forgiveness that went beyond the purification of his lips. He was completely purified, forgiven to the core, but not without the terrible pain of repentance.
Our conception of sin and the character of God must form a fundamental part of our relationship with the Lord and even the role of our salvation. We have received the greatest gift that any human being could dare to desire, and that is eternal life with our Lord. Not by our efforts or works, but solely through His infinite grace and love.
What causes us to separate ourselves from the holiness of God?
Our nature is to hide from God. We avoid at all costs not to be revealed to His standard of holiness. We have a justification for every sin we commit. We judge ourselves by measuring each other. Consequently, true repentance is very painful, but it produces sincerity as we enter into His presence. It allows us to enter into His presence with sincerity. When we have an attitude like Isaiah’s, God is willing to forgive, cleanse and send.
The Holy Spirit makes us more aware of our lack of holiness, to stimulate us, to yearn for it more deeply and to strive to attain it more intensely. In one sense we are fortunate: God does not appear to us in the way he appeared to Isaiah. Who could bear it? Normally, God reveals our sinfulness to us little by little. We experience a gradual recognition of our own corruption. Isaiah saw his corruption all at once. It should not surprise us that he was ruined.
It is precisely our sinful condition that motivates us to be close to God. It is knowing God that calls us to be close to Him, knowing in our own flesh what it is to have a new opportunity, a new life that should NATURALLY move us to seek His presence and holiness.